Risk Assessment for Alzheimer's Disease with Genetic Susceptibility Testing: Has the Moment Arrived?

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Abstract

Family members of patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD) have a higher risk of eventually developing the disease. APOE genotyping is an easily measured genetic variation that could be used to provide a more refined measure of AD risk to those who desire it. However, there are many concerns about whether risk information based upon genetic susceptibility testing can be properly communicated, and whether such information would benefit or harm those receiving it. In this article, these issues are discussed within the framework of what is known to date about AD risk and APOE testing. Empirical data on the benefits and potential harm of genetic susceptibility testing with APOE are currently being collected and studied in the multicenter REVEAL Study (Risk Evaluation and Education for Alzheimer's Disease).

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